Effects of afternoon or morning weaning protocol on pig growth performance

Casey R. Neill, MS; Mike D. Tokach, PhD; Jim L. Nelssen, PhD; Robert D. Goodband, PhD; Joel M. DeRouchey, PhD; Steve S. Dritz, DVM, PhD; Crystal N. Groesbeck, MS; Kelly R. Brown, MS, PhD

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Objective: To evaluate the effects on nursery pig growth performance when sows are withdrawn either the afternoon before their pigs move to the nursery or the morning when the pigs move to the nursery.

Materials and methods: A total of 542 weanling pigs (PIC L327 × L42) from 50 litters were used in the experiment. Each sow and litter was randomly allotted to a weaning protocol. For half of the litters, the sow was removed on Thursday afternoon, leaving the pigs in the farrowing crate until the following morning (afternoon protocol; AFT). The other litters remained with the sow until weaning on Friday morning (morning protocol; MORN). All pigs were moved from the farrowing house to the nursery on Friday morning (Day 0). All pigs were weighed in the farrowing house on Thursday morning, with an average body weight of 6.0 kg at 21 ± 2 days of age. Pigs were subsequently weighed on Days 7, 14, 21, and 28. Feed intake was recorded to calculate ADG, average daily feed intake, and feed:gain.

Results: Pigs on the MORN treatment had better feed:gain (P < .01) from Day 0 to Day 7 than pigs on the AFT treatment. Removing sows from the farrowing house the afternoon before moving the pigs to the nursery had no effect on ADG, feed intake, or feed:gain for the overall 28-day study.

Implication: Under our study conditions, weaning protocol (AFT or MORN) did not affect pig performance.

Keywords: nursery, weaning, growth performance

RIS citationCite as: Neill CR, Tokach MD, Nelssen JL, et al. Effects of afternoon or morning weaning protocol on pig growth performance. J Swine Health Prod 2007;15(1):19-21.

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